WAGONER, Ok. -- A disabled Wagoner man says he can't get around the city without police stopping him.
Carl Halligan said, “It’s hard enough on me being in this chair and then them telling me I can’t go nowhere makes it even rougher . . . I can’t walk or nothing. I can’t even stand up. This is the only way I got to get around, and then they’re telling me I can’t.”
Halligan has had a few run-ins with the law around town riding his motorized scooter. He says police have even threatened to impound his scooter, he says.
Chief Bob Haley said, “Whenever our officers have encountered him, they have explained to him on more than one occasion that he can’t be riding his Hoveround in the middle of the roadway.”
Halligan explained, “When he pulled me over, he told me he didn’t want me on the highway. I wasn’t on the highway, i was on the sidewalk.”
Halligan says he can’t even check his mail, adding, “My mailbox is right there on the city street. They told me if I went there, they could take my chair.”
The disabled man said the problem with many of these city roads is that there are no sidewalks, so the only way to get from point A to point B is to ride on the road.
The chief said, “The City of Wagoner does not have sidewalks all over town. There are locations where you’re not going to be able to be on a sidewalk.”
That’s why Chief Haley suggests Halligan take the city van. He said, “We do have a van service that is capable of handling his motorized machine.”
But Halligan argued, “(The city van) runs from eight in the morning until one. That’s it. If you got anything to do after one o’clock, like me, I had to sit home.”
For police, it’s about safety. The chief said, “He doesn’t drive or ride that thing in a safe location or a safe manner, and we’re trying to keep him from getting run over or getting hit by a car.”
For disabled residents, like Halligan, it’s about the ability to get around a town he loves.
Halligan added, “I like living here in Wagoner, but I just don’t understand why they’re getting on me for riding on the sidewalk.”
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